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Bad AC+Loose Screens+Cats = HELP!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I'm starting to find out why the rent at our new place is relatively fairly cheap for our area...it's more than made up for in other areas. We got our public service bill yesterday, and the electric alone for less than one month (about 20 days) was $75 - averaging almost $4.00 per day!!! (Our last apartment was 150 SF bigger, with higher ceilings and that averaged $1.08 per day.) So we looked at the AC unit, and it is older than dirt which means it is a power sucker. Considering we are tight on money anyway with hubby not working, we have to do something to cut this bill.

The good news is the really hot weather is behind us for the year (I hope!). The bad news is that the window screens in this place are cheap and pop out at a little touch. I want to open the windows to cool off the place that way, but I can't risk the kitties leaning against the screens and falling out of the apartment.

Any ideas of what I can do so I can open the windows without the kitties falling out?
post #2 of 12
Wow, I'm really no good with things like this, but I'm sure someone will have some advice. Could you put in new screens? Or would that cost too much?
post #3 of 12
You could open the windows but put up those 2' kid gates (wood & mesh) as close to the screens as you can get so the cats can still get on the window sill. They aren't that expensive and you can sometimes find them at garage sales pretty cheap.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
That's a good idea Daniela. I'll have to see how much those cost. I was kind of thinking of stapling some loose screen material in front of the window, but I'm not sure how I could work it to open and close the windows.

Debby, I don't think I can replace the screens since it is an apartment building. I don't want to violate the lease by altering the building, per se.

Keep the ideas coming! I'm open to just about anything.
post #5 of 12
Heidi, this is what I do. Go to your local hardware store or Home Depot and ask them for some decorative trellis backing. It comes in sheets and it has designs on it, diamond patterns etc- you can get various designs. People use them to put up rose bushes and ivy to train the plants to climb on. Buy one sheet of this stuff (sorry I don't remember exactly what it is called) and then go home and measure your windows. Cut the pieces to fit over the screens from the inside, open the windows, insert the pieces (if you measure right they will wedge in tightly) because they are flexible material and bend.

Now your cats can sit on the window sill and lean into it if they want without popping our the screen. If they do pop out the screen they cannot escape and the air comes in through the pattern holes.

Hope this makes sense, I have them in all my windows and simply love them. If you have baby kitties you want to be sure that you get the smaller holed pattern so kitty doesn't get her head stuck like McBethie did the other day! Don't worry, she is fine. I went down and got a smaller pattern till she gets bigger.
post #6 of 12
That sounds like a really good idea!!!!
post #7 of 12
Easier to show what I mean. The stuff is similiar to the bottom half of this piece, but a lot cheaper. I believe I paid $12.00 to get all my windows done.

post #8 of 12
what about those fans that you put in the window and the sides stretch out to the width of the window. anybody know what i'm talking about? that way you can get fresh cool air with out the window being completley open.
post #9 of 12
The cheap way to go is to duct tape the screen in place! Might look horrid, but it should work.
post #10 of 12
Those window fans work as good as AC in all but the hottest weather. They cost about $15 - $20 at Wal-Mart.

Do you think the apartment maintenance would put new screens in?
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Mary Anne that is a great idea! I will have to look into getting those. Shouldn't be too difficult to do, or too expensive. I don't have any baby kitties, but Ophelia is pretty small. I may have to measure her head before we go shopping. LOL I'm sure she'll love that!

7cozycats, I will probably end up doing that next summer. No way can I use the AC with it sucking down the juice that bad. The lady at Excel Energy told me that the high amount for the previous year was $140! Unbelievable! I also have a friend who does HVAC work and see if he can recommend an in-room unit swamp cooler or something we can use next summer.

In the meantime, do you think I could duct tape from the inside? Would that do any good? I live on the second floor so I don't have access to the outside of most of the windows.

Brenda - we are actually going to ask them for a new AC unit since it is just not right how much electricity that unit uses. I doubt they will go for it, but we have to try. We can ask about the screens, too, but since every one of them is like that, I think that's just the kind of screen they use.

Thanks everyone! (Still open to suggestions if anyone has more. )
post #12 of 12
Maybe if you measured the windows precisely, then make a wooden frame that inserts, snug, inside your actual window frame.

On the actual wooden frame that you build, staple chicken wire to it. Chicken wire has a tendency to looks somewhat invisible—it kind of "blends" in with the background. well, that's just my opinion <grin> Maybe I should get my eyes checked...

Also, you can paint the wood too match whatever...

Just an idea - it's cheap...chickenwire, wood, and nails. One thing is for sure....the cats can't destroy the wire. Plus it's light weight and you can pop it in or out when you want to use the window that way..

I think my cats will always fight over windows....something about the whole idea of perching...or maybe....or maybe they like staring my neighbors down.....<grin>

I threw some graphics together and made up a visual for ya...(don't laugh, it's easier for me to explain things with a visual...even if it looks cheesy)

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